Hague Tribunal confirms its jurisdiction over Ukraine’s case against Russia on Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague has confirmed that it has jurisdiction to consider Ukraine’s case against Russia for Moscow’s violation of international law in the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko.

“The maritime law case is moving forward! The arbitration tribunal in the Hague has confirmed its jurisdiction to consider a lawsuit regarding the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, as well as the theft of our natural resources,” Prystaiko tweeted.

According to him, the case primarily has to do with Russia’s illegal construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait, and its illegal practice of stopping ships en route to the Ukrainian ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk.

In 2016, Ukraine filed a lawsuit against Russia for violating the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov as a coastal state.

In June last year, the first hearings were held to determine the jurisdiction of the case. According to Olena Zerkal, who was Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister at the time, Russia decided to dispute the court’s jurisdiction over the case. Zerkal said that Russia was aiming to avoid a consideration of the case altogether and thereby avoid accountability for its offenses.

Ukraine supplied the court with proof that Russia had violated the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

  Hague, Crimea, Kerch, Sea of Azov, Russia